Governor’s Council on Quality of Place Holds First MeetingApril 19, 2007 - TRCAUGUSTA – The Governor’s Council on Quality of Place held its first meeting Thursday in the Cabinet Room at the State House. “Maine is attracting more and more businesses and people to our state every day,” Governor John Baldacci said. “People are coming here because of the qualities that make Maine precious and unique. This council is part of our overall strategy to take advantage of this state’s assets and build upon them for the future.”A letter from the Governor was read to the Council at the beginning of the meeting. The Governor was unable to attend.The Council will examine the way land-use decisions are made and will recommend a plan for protecting, investing in and enhancing Maine’s distinctive quality of place. Last year, the Brookings Institution recommended that Maine protect its open spaces and natural resources as an important element in growing the state's economy.Alan Caron of GrowSmart Maine and Mark Muro of the Brookings Institution were two of the morning’s featured speakers.The Council is headed by Chairman Dick Barringer, professor of public policy and community development at the Muskie School. The Council on Maine’s Quality of Place will collaborate with the Governor’s Council on Jobs, Innovation and the Economy, stakeholders and state agencies.Members of the Council include: Eleanor Kinney, Natural Resources Council of Maine; Bruce Hazard, Mountain Counties Heritage Network; Evan Richert, Orono town planner; Kevin Mattson, Harper’s Development Co. and FAME board; Hilary Basset, Greater Portland Landmarks; John Rohman, Creative Economy Council; Tracy Michaud Stutzman, Maine Highlands Guild and REALIZE! Maine; former state Rep. John Marsh; former state Sen. Barbara Trafton; Ken Young, Kennebec Valley Council of Governments; Mary Kate Reny, Reny’s Department Stores; and Jay Espy, Maine Coast Heritage Trust. Additional appointments to the Council are pending.NOTE - This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of the TRC Alliance Team.